How to Use Coffee Filters to Filter Water (Yes, It Works!)

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By Joel Jefferson •  2 min read

Water Filtration Systems have a set lifespan. After a while the filters just get worn out. You can use coffee filters to extend the life of your water filter.

Zack and I did a quick demonstration of this system in Mason jars to show how effective it can be.

Pre-filtering water through coffee filters removes all of the larger debris and a lot of dirt too. This can go a long way towards extending the life of your water filter because it doesn’t have to work nearly as hard.

Not to mention coffee filters are small and light enough for your Bug Out Bag

Dirty Water

Dirty Water

Dirty Water

Standing rain water from outside the house. We added some dirt to emphasize the effects. In a survival situation you may have to rely on whatever water you can find and chances are it won’t be very clean.

Coffee Filter



The easiest way to get water to drain through the water filter was to push it down into the container and let gravity do it’s thing. It takes a few seconds for the water to drain.

Coffee Filter Results



Here is a before and after shot of the coffee filtered water that is ready to put through your water purification system.


Coffee Filter Leftovers


We only used regular old coffee filters for this, but I poked around and found these Micro-Filters that are for espresso makers.

The description says: “The Micro-filter removes grit, unlike other press-type coffee makers” So I am assuming the filter is even more fine.

It might take longer for the water to work through, but they could be that much better for filtering out tiny grains of dirt. Find them here on Amazon: Micro-Filters.

If a reader wants to test them please let me know and we’ll publish your results.

Save your Bottles

In a survival situation you might only have a few bottles. Don’t contaminate them with dirty water. Use a collapsible bucket to collect water, then coffee filter, then really filter. 6 Great Uses for a Backpacking Bucket

BUNN -B 100-Count Basket Filter
  • Home-Brewer Filters Made Of 100% Pure Virgin Fiber
  • Continuously Checked For Proper Porosity, Flowrate, And Structure

Last update on 2024-07-12 at 19:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Joel Jefferson

Joel is one of the original founders of After college, he joined the USMC where he served as an (0302) Marine Infantry Officer. Joel is an avid outdoorsman and spends much of his free time in the mountains. Joel’s hobby is researching survival gear & weapons as well as prepping. Read his full interview here.